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As we consider the real possibilities of regathering, the community of St. Albans longs to be together. We want to sing our hymns and share our Eucharist. When, we have asked, can we be back in the pews, surrounding the coffee urn, bumping into each other in Nourse Hall? When can we pass the peace, participate in Bible Study, The Opportunity Shop, Grate Patrol, Children, Youth, and Adult Formation? When can we get back to the business of worshiping, serving and giving?
Welcome to the Hallelujah Homecoming Campaign! As the weeks have turned into months and then more than a year, we have learned much more about the virus and the spaces we inhabit. The pandemic has taught us about the vital role of air circulation in keeping us all safe. Through appropriate testing, we have examined the church itself and found its air circulation to be good, especially with the windows and doors open. Unfortunately, many other spaces have been found lacking. For example, the library and other rooms where we gather to learn and engage with one another lack the kind of air circulation we now know is vital. Prompted by this finding, we have had an engineer examine our HVAC systems and have been informed that most of the machinery is beyond its useful life. Moreover, the existing systems have been cobbled together through makeshift repairs, in some instances with inadequate materials or workmanship.
Before the people of St. Alban’s resume our core feeding ministries, the kitchen needs serious and costly attention, predominantly to replace the hood to minimize the risk of fire or injury.
As we have thought about health and safety, we have also recognized a need for enhanced building security. To that end, we have decided to install a camera and buzzer system for Satterlee Hall and to convert door looks in that building to a fob or keycard system. These measures will make it much easier to control and manage access to Satterlee, including the Opportunity Shop.
It is necessary to look to all our resources, including the generosity of our parishioners, to address these challenges so that we can gather safely once again. A quiet phase of a capital campaign has been underway for several months relying largely on word-of-mouth. Thank you for those of you who have already responded so generously. As of this writing, we have raised more than $1.3 million for this effort. With those generous pledges in hand, some of the work can begin. But the work we have to do is complicated and expensive. We will all need to contribute to complete this work.
Many of our fellow parishioners have made heartfelt commitments to get us to this point. We hope you will consider what re-gathering means to you and join us in contributing now or making a pledge to this vital need. It is urgent, compelling and obvious. It is necessary for our common life. Please join the Hallelujah Homecoming Campaign by going online to https://form.jotform.com/211514081958153, and join with us in preparing our church to re-open.
Ken Patterson Suzy Mink
Campaign Co-Chair Campaign Co-Chair
Ken Patterson Suzy Mink